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Yay for the cheap seats!

I've had a stonkingly lovely day- it's perked me right up!

First off, it was a trip to London, which is almost always exciting. Just the fact of going up there is fun, and I was wearing my ridiculously long and tight leopard print tube skirt, which is also fun.

Second, I was going to the Victoria & Albert Museum to meet up with a US bhuzzer, who's in England studying, which meant a pleasant wander around the museum. One of these days I must devote a proper amount of time for this, because the V&A has such a massive and wonderful and eclectic collection of stuff. I confess, I went round the Fashion exhibit again- I can't help it if I like pretty frocks. And I also wandered around the Sculptures. I had to restrain myself actively from stroking the Rodins. I do love a Rodin, they are so touchable. Buuuuuut, I didn't want to be hauled off and thrown out of the museum, so I stuck to enjoying them with my eyes.

And I'm mentioning this to please suzycat- I saw the Maharajah's Tiger organ- the one where the tiger is mauling the British soldier, and here's the terrible grainy phone pic to prove it! I do feel guilty about using a camera phone in a museum, somehow it feels all wrong.


Then I wandered on to the café, where I was meeting with bhuzzer S, who's just arrived in the UK, and who will be spending much of her time here studying in the wilds of North Yorkshire. I gave her a couple of names of people she might want to get in touch with to find out more about the dance scene thereabouts. I was also trying to tempt her to come to JoY, because I'm sure she'd love it! Anyway, she'll be spending occasional break times in London, so hopefully we can catch up again in the not too distant future.

Then it was off from South Ken to Soho, to meet up with M. We were meeting up at an American diner just behind the Palace Theatre, which was reassuringly busy. They did great burgers, and allowed us to have vinegar on our chips (which is the only proper condiment for chips). I was also cheap enough to have printed off the 20% discount voucher from their website, so it was good value too.

Onto the theatre for the main event, the whole reason for the London trip- Singin' in the Rain.

M had scored cheap seats in the Grand Circle. They were cheap because they were round to the side, and row B (quite a restricted view). However, no-one turned up to sit in the Row A seats (normal cost £50 each) in front of us by the time the house lights went down, so we snuck into those and had a superb view.

The show was beautifully done. The costume designer must have had a field day- they were superb. The stage was constantly busy, there was always something interesting to watch in the ensemble work, and while the scenery got shifted. It must have been a tough film to transfer to the live stage, because there's so much material, and you need to keep the important stuff that people would miss if it wasn't there. They changed elements of it, but not so that it would jar.

Of course my main reason for going was to see the lovely Adam Cooper. He (as the Don Lockwood Gene Kelly character) was, of course, excellent! He was tap-dancing, though I noted that sometimes his Ballet port-de-bras crept in, which looked slightly odd when combined with the traditional tap hoofing.

The actual Singin' in the Rain number was brilliant. It was right at the end of the first act, so that they could do the mopping up in the interval. From the first dooby doo doo, dooby, dooby doo doo, which had both me and M swaying in our seats, it was fun fun fun. Adam was deliberately splashing and kicking water out into the audience. Some sensible souls in the front row had come prepared with plastic sheeting (chicken!!!), but the splash zone extended a good five or six rows back. Of course, M & I were able to watch gleefully in complete safety. Hence the title for this post. Except of course that we weren't actually in the cheap seats!

Although Adam was the main reason for wanting to see this show, the rest of the cast was utterly brilliant. Because it only included JESUS OF BLOOMING NAZARETH!!! Yes, folks, Robert Powell of the icy blue eyes was playing the Producer, RF Simpson. And at one point there was a little in-joke about him being Jesus, but although I noticed it at the time, I can't remember for the life of me exactly what it was, now. And also (this may only be of interest to Brits of a certain age) Sandra Dickinson was playing the radio film reviewer. And also (this may only be of interest to people who studied History at Esher College in the 1980s), the voice coach looked ridiculously like my history teacher, Mr Doig.

Talking of the voice coaching, Lina Lamont was duly awful with the squeaky nasal Bronx[*] accent, some of it was positively unintelligible. The actress playing Kathy Selden had a lovely voice most of the time, but had a slightly annoying tendency to squeak when she got excited, which was a bit off, given that she's supposed to be the Anti-Lina. But hey, I can't do an American accent to save my life, so I'm in no position to criticise.

It was an excellent evening's entertainment, and I would happily go and see it again, which is surely the sign of a heartfelt good review.

Incidentally, M & I were talking about the various shows we've seen with Adam Cooper in. I'm pretty certain the earliest one was a show that I couldn't remember the name of[**]. It had featured Adam, and also another ballet dancer, Irek Mukhamedov, and it was a revival of an obscure 1930s musical. It was a pretty memorable show (except for the name of it!) on account of Adam's character having a tendency to lose his trousers, and thus revealing the Cooper bum, his modesty only protected by a fleshtone thong. It was also memorable because, for plot purposes, the Irek character had to shoot the Adam character from the audience, and so he was sat for a good 10-15 minutes in the seat behind us. Given these two pretty memorable elements, I am at a total loss to understand how it has COMPLETELY slipped M's memory. Even with me describing it, and her reading about it in the programme notes, she has zero recollection of it.

And now I need to think about what other shows I'd like to see in the next few months. I'm seeing Les Mis (the show, not the movie- we didn't realise there was a movie coming out when we booked it), with my sisters in March. I think one of Mum's premium bond prizes is funding that- God bless you Mum! It's what she would have wanted. But it would be nice to have something later in the year to look forward to. Maybe a spot more ballet, maybe another song & dance show. Dunno... will think about that[***].

[*] I fully accept it may not be the Bronx, it may be Brooklyn, or Queens or somewhere else Noo Yoik ish. I am an ignorant Brit.
[**] The programme informs me it was “On Your Toes” which we saw at the Royal Festival Hall.
[***] I keep thinking I'd like to see War Horse, but I'm worried I would be too sad.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2013 04:47 am (UTC)
I love everything about this post! :) And I will immediately start harassing S because she HAS to go to JoY because I CAN'T.

I so hope you two enjoyed each others' company! Bet she loved you. She's one of my absolute favorite dancers and a really fantastic teacher as well. (Also: very much my kind of shy goofy geek.) I still haven't quite forgiven her for dropping her classes in favor of graduate school. Tsk, the nerve, abandoning us all for another degree and a professional life outside of dance....

And I love that you are at least as much of a musical-theater fan as I am. I live in a good city for theater but rarely, rarely go because it's so pricey. You're inspiring me to make 2013 the Year of Cheap Seats. :)

Edited at 2013-01-25 06:49 am (UTC)
Jan. 25th, 2013 10:21 am (UTC)
I think me & S hit it off pretty well! The dance geekery was almost palpable!
Jan. 25th, 2013 12:20 pm (UTC)
*squee* the TIGER!!

And *squee* Robert Powell!!!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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